LEGAL PEOPLE

The Secrest Wardle Executive Committee is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2017, the following attorneys were promoted to the position of partner: Jennifer C. Hill, Justin A. Grimske, and Lisa A. Neville.

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Harness Dickey was recently named a Top Ten patent firm for the second time in two years by industry news source IPWatchdog.

"We are proud to be in the Top Ten again for 2016 and proud of the hard work our attorneys have done to get us there," said Harness Dickey Principal Michael Wiggins. "As the firm continues to expand, clients can look forward to even more innovative service and efficient patent prosecution in 2017."

The 2016 rankings include more than 650 firms that obtained fifty or more patents. Harness Dickey earned its place at number seven on the list by obtaining 3,104 U.S. utility patents for its clients during the calendar year. Harness Dickey's team of more than 100 patent and trademark attorneys also obtained 167 design patents and 344 trademarks for its clients during the same period.

In addition to preparing and prosecuting patents, Harness Dickey offers a broad range of full-service intellectual property solutions to clients around the globe, including: trademark and copyright protection; litigation services; international filings; IP transactions and licensing agreements; due diligence and freedom to practice opinions; and ongoing strategic portfolio management for clients in all industries.

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Attorney Phillip E. Seltzer, a principal and shareholder of Lipson, Neilson, Cole, Seltzer, Garin, PC, was selected by the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) to be on a panel of experts for a webinar titled "Identify and Pursue Legal Malpractice Claims." Posted on ICLE.org, this webinar is available for member viewing and provides continuing legal education credits.

The overall theme of this webinar addresses identifying legal malpractice as a claim, the elements necessary to sustain such a claim, and the available defenses that may bar or defeat such an action. Topics discussed include: strategies for identifying the required elements for a potential malpractice action; the evaluation of the defenses that might bar recovery or defeat a claim; establishing or refuting the applicable standard of care with expert testimony; identifying when a conflict of interest results in divided loyalties, when such a conflict may form the basis of a claim, and the defenses to such conflict of interest claims; and distinguishing malpractice liability from a violation of professional ethical standards and if or when such standards are relevant to litigating a malpractice claim.

Seltzer is is recognized nationwide for his work in defending legal malpractice claims. He focuses his practice on the litigation of business torts and the defense of professional liability claims, primarily dealing with lawsuits against attorneys. Seltzer also defends professionals in other fields, including architecture and design professionals, accountants, real estate agents, insurance agencies and insurers, and E&O claims against directors, officers, and employers.

He has served as a hearing officer for the Character and Fitness Committee of the State Bar of Michigan, has published numerous articles, and has publicly presented on a variety of topics regarding the defense of legal malpractice claims. He is actively involved in organizations focusing on the law governing lawyers, professional liability, and lawyers' ethical responsibilities.

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Jack Dempsey, attorney, author, and current president of the Michigan Historical Commission, has been named the executive director of the Michigan History Foundation.

Dempsey is a member at Dickinson Wright PLLC. He is a five-time elected president of the Michigan Historical Commission, first appointed in 2007. He also serves on the Board of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University. Previous board service besides the Foundation includes: Historical Society of Michigan; Rochester College; Michigan Civil War Association. He is author of five books and various articles on history, including two Michigan Notable Books. In November 2016, he received the most votes among the candidates for trustee in Plymouth Township.

Born in Detroit, Dempsey is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University. He received his law degree from George Washington University. He served as Michigan assistant attorney general from 1980-84.

"I am grateful for the opportunity and excited to work with our donors, our partners at the State, and excellent leaders on the Foundation board to support the preservation and elevation of Michigan's unique and irreplaceable heritage," Dempsey said.

Dempsey takes over the post from Cindy E. Hales, who took a development post at Michigan State University.

The Foundation, founded in 1999 to raise funding for the Michigan Historical Center, underwrites the preservation and interpretation of Michigan's history by supporting museum exhibits, archival projects, history education programs, and public programming.

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Fishman Stewart PLLC is pleased to announce the addition of four patent attorneys to its growing intellectual property practice. The firm celebrated its 20-year anniversary last year.

Fishman Stewart recently welcomed John P. Guenther as partner, Penny L. Prater and Mark J. Lambrecht as Of Counsel, and Michael B. Comeau as associate.

Partner John P. Guenther is an experienced patent professional in the IP community. He counsels and represents a number of Fortune 500 companies, as well as multi-national organizations and universities. His practice encompasses all aspects of intellectual property. John has extensive experience in the automotive, plastics, aerospace, health systems, medical devices, healthcare, advertising, and telematics industries.

Previously, Guenther was in-house counsel for a leading international plastics company, and was most recently an intellectual property practice group leader for an Am Law 200 law firm. Guenther has earned several honors in the legal industry including Best Lawyers, IP Stars, and an AV Rating from Martindale.

He is joined in his move by Associate Michael B. Comeau whose practice includes all aspects of the procurement, management, and enforcement of intellectual property rights variety of technologies.

His experience includes a wide range of trademark and copyright disputes for clients in the healthcare, media, real estate, and banking companies sectors.

Counsel Penny L. Prater has expertise in the energy sector. She began her legal career as a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark office and has worked for several major oil companies as an engineer as well as a lawyer.

Prater is experienced in patent portfolio management, licensing and dispute resolution. She has been legal representative on nearly 100 patents, which were personally prosecuted in-house, and collaborated with outside counsel on numerous others.

Counsel Mark J. Lambrecht has drafted and prosecuted numerous patent applications for a variety of medical imaging and monitoring technologies. He has a background in physics and experience in the electrical, electro-mechanical, and electro-magnetic arts.

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The University of Michigan Law School has announced that U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade will join the faculty as a professor from practice, effective May 1. She will teach in the areas of national security, criminal law, and criminal procedure.

"I am honored to return to Michigan Law School to teach the next generation of law students at a critical moment in our nation's history. Michigan's unique learning environment opened a new world of ideas for me when I was a student there, and I am thrilled to join its great faculty," said McQuade. "Helping students to develop a deep understanding of our laws, courts and legal system has never been more important."

McQuade, the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, was appointed by President Barack Obama, and sworn in on January 4, 2010. During her tenure, she oversaw many significant cases, including the conviction of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and more than 30 others on public corruption charges; the conviction and life sentence of an Al-Qaeda operative for attempting to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009; the conviction and 45-year sentence of Dr. Farid Fata for Medicare fraud; the conviction and $4.3 billion fine against Volkswagen AG relating to emissions tests; the conviction and $1 billion fine against Takata Corp. for fraudulently concealing defective airbags; and settlements with local municipalities regarding enforcement of religious land use laws.

McQuade also served as vice chair of the U.S. Attorney General's Advisory Committee under Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and served as co-chair of the Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee from 2010 to 2017.

Before becoming U.S. attorney, McQuade was an assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit for 12 years, serving as deputy chief of the National Security Unit. She prosecuted cases involving terrorism financing, foreign agents, export violations and threats, and served as the district's Crisis Management Coordinator. McQuade practiced law at the firm of Butzel Long in Detroit from 1993 to 1998, and served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman, Eastern District of Michigan, from 1991 to 1993. From 2003 to 2009, McQuade served as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, teaching criminal law in the evenings.

Born in Detroit, McQuade is a 1987 graduate of the University of Michigan and a 1991 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

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Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that Michael S. Melfi has joined the firm as a member.

Melfi is a member of Bodman's Business, Intellectual Property, and Emerging Companies and Venture Capital practice groups. He represents emerging and established businesses in a broad range of industries in matters involving intellectual property protection, technology licensing, tax planning, funding, acquisitions and dispositions, and general corporate law. He collaborates with his clients on the assessment, strategic planning, business development, execution and fundraising for their ideas and inventions.

Melfi is a member of the Small Business Association of Michigan. He mentors entrepreneurs at 1871, a technology accelerator and incubator based in Chicago. He also serves on the board of governors of the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology Alumni Society and on the President's Advisory Council for The Community House in Birmingham. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Oakland County Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan.

He is the author of a series of four books on social media, crowdfunding, intellectual property and entrepreneurship and has published numerous articles in The Huffington Post, Crain's Detroit Business, and StartUpNation.com. He is a contributing writer for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education and hosts a weekly podcast on the Michigan Business Network where he interviews entrepreneurs and business leaders and speaks about entrepreneurship and successful behaviors that translate to any business at any stage. He is a frequent speaker at seminars, conferences, and webinars.

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Hewson & Van Hellemont PC is proud to introduce new firm shareholders as of January 1, 2017. They have demonstrated their dedication to the firm and the legal profession through solid work and ethics that uphold the mission of Hewson & Van Hellemont PC.

The new shareholders in the firm's Oak Park office include:

Charles Pletscher - Insurance Defense.

Victoria Orlewicz - Insurance Defense.

Anthony Vitucci - Insurance Defense and Personal Injury.

Grant Jaskulski - Appellate Advocacy, collections, Contract Disputes, Insurance Defense and Subrogation.

Jordan Wiener - Appellate Advocacy and Litigation.

Published: Mon, Mar 20, 2017

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